Since the fortunes of our town of Cody and Yellowstone National Park pretty much go hand in hand, the government shutdown affects us profoundly. So many people stop in Cody on their way to or from the park that our hotels, restaurants and attractions depend upon that traffic.
Now that the park – and 400 other NPS units – is closing, we are looking at ways we can help travelers who are already in the region as well as those who have questions about future travel.
First of all, roads inside the park are closed. The Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway between town and the east gate is open through the Wapiti Valley. You can make your way to Pahaska Teepee, the various guest ranches and other stops without any problem.
The same thing applies to the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and the road leading to the Silver Gate in the northeast corner of the park. You can drive to Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana, but you cannot continue into the park.
If you are traveling to the park right now and were planning on camping or staying in one of the park lodges, you should make alternative plans. Here in Cody we have about 1,600 hotel rooms/bed & breakfast rooms/guest houses and 350 RV/camp sites that are open. The hotels and campgrounds are reporting plenty of availability. A complete list of accommodations can be found at http://www.yellowstonecountry.org/plan-your-visit/accommodations/.
Our restaurants are open, and there are many activities available to keep you busy. The weather has been comfortable with warm sunny days and cool nights.
We hope this shutdown ends as soon as possible. Our national parks are truly American treasures that teach people about wildlife, history, geology, plant life and so much more. They are part of our fabric as a nation, and Yellowstone, in particular, is so much a part of our lives here in Park County.
Until next time, I’m lovin’ life here in Cody, WY and hoping the government shutdown ends soon!